Amazing Exponential Training Expansion In Nigeria!
By: Dr. Randy Smith, YMI President/Founder
In 2015 YMI entered into a master’s degree training partnership with the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS) in Ogbomoso, Nigeria. After signing the partnership agreement with NBTS President Emiola in September of 2015, we began the first Youth Ministry MA classes in December 2016 with 24 students, ten of whom already had an advanced doctorate seminary degree.
In May of 2019, I taught the final class, and in June I spoke at the graduation ceremony (photo in top banner) and assisted in giving the first ever Youth Ministry MA Diploma to 20 of the original 24 students.
What a blessing! But that was only the beginning!
In 2018 NBTS started a new cohort of ten Youth Ministry MA students using our “soon-to-graduate” MA students who already had doctorate degrees as the professors. On Saturday August 8, 2020 nine of those new MA students graduated! We now have 29 MA graduates from the Youth Ministry MA programs!
In addition, I was notified by the director of all Youth and Student Ministries of the NBC, Dr. Samuel Olayeye (who is also one of our MA graduates), that he had been notified by the NBC Education Department that “the Heads of all our ten theological institutions resolved yesterday to commence with a BA in Youth Ministry starting with the next academic session” (2020-21).
That means that 10 new undergraduate schools in the NBC will begin offering a minimum 30 credit hour BA program in Youth Ministry!
Also, they decided that the other two NBC seminaries will begin offering a MA in Youth Ministry just like the program being offered at NBTS. This is great news! As a result, starting in the next academic year there will be three MA Youth Programs and ten BA Youth Programs in the thirteen NBC schools!
If that were not enough good news, there is more… A third cohort of ten Youth Ministry MA students at NBTS started their first two courses on July 27 – all taught by our graduates!
Additionally, the president of NBTS announced that the goal of starting an official Center for Youth Ministry (CYM) at NBTS will be realized this coming academic year. The CYM will coordinate Youth Ministry courses, write and publish Youth Ministry training resources, communicate with Youth Ministry alumni, conduct national Youth Ministry research, recruit new students, host national youth ministry training conferences, and coordinate training with churches of the NBC.
Well, there is ONE MORE bit of good news about our Nigeria training program. A leadership team lead by our NBTS and NBC graduates have initiated the Nigerian Youth Ministry Coalition which will be an interdenominational collaborative effort to embrace the new YMI-led Saturation Multiplication Training (SMT) strategy. This strategy has as its goal to place active quality youth ministry leadership teams in all 36 of Nigeria state provinces by 2030 so that every evangelical church that needs and wants quality youth ministry training may obtain it!
This is YMI’s new strategic initiative, that by 2030, we will have quality national leadership training teams saturate every province in every country where we have active training programs in operation. We have launched this SMT strategy in Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, China, Myanmar, and are beginning to launch the strategy in Ukraine, Romania, Tanzania and Malaysia soon.
Please pray for our Nigerian graduates, all 29 of them. Pray for the upcoming training and teaching year when all of these new programs will be launched, leading to the evangelization and discipleship of thousands of youth throughout Nigeria – and BEYOND!
TO CHRIST BE THE GLORY… AMEN!
Thanks again for supporting YMI around the world!
Blessings to you all.